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Dear Mr. Knightley and a Giveaway

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Happy Tuesday, My Lovelies!  I'm excited to share with you one of the sweetest, most romantic books I've read in a very long time:  Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay.  One of my lucky readers will win a copy of it, too.

If you love Jane Austen, romance, a sweet story with Christian themes, and characters who are hard to forget, then you will love this book!

According to Goodreads:

Dear Mr. Knightley is a contemporary epistolary novel with a delightful dash of Jane Austen.

Samantha Moore survived years of darkness in the foster care system by hiding behind her favorite characters in literature, even adopting their very words. Her fictional friends give her an identity, albeit a borrowed one. But most importantly, they protect her from revealing her true self and encountering more pain.

After college, Samantha receives an extraordinary opportunity. The anonymous “Mr. Knightley” offers her a full scholarship to earn her graduate degree at the prestigious Medill School of Journalism. The sole condition is that Sam write to Mr. Knightley regularly to keep him apprised of her progress.

As Sam’s true identity begins to reveal itself through her letters, her heart begins to soften to those around her—a damaged teenager and fellow inhabitant of Grace House, her classmates at Medill, and, most powerfully, successful novelist Alex Powell. But just as Sam finally begins to trust, she learns that Alex has secrets of his own—secrets that, for better or for worse, make it impossible for Sam to hide behind either her characters or her letters.

My Review:

First of all I must admit that I read this book several months ago, and I can't believe that I forgot to blog about it.  I think I read it during show season late last winter, so I was distracted and forgot.  I saw this book on the "Suggested Reading" shelf at my local library, and I checked it out.  I found it hard to put down!  I liked it so much I bought a copy for my "keeper shelf" because I'll want to revisit these characters again.

I was skeptical that I would like the epistolary narration, but I truly loved it.  Katherine Reay did a super job unveiling the story through Sam's letters.  Sam's character is heartbreaking.  At first she turns down Mr. Knightley's offer to attend Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism because she didn't think she could handle another two years at the Grace House group home where she'd lived for eight years (basically through high school and college).  Unable to make it financially out in the world, she asks for a second chance a year later, and it's granted.  Sam doesn't really appreciate the opportunity as it's in journalism:  She lives in a dreamworld of characters from classic literature, especially Jane Austen.  Her speech is so peppered with quotes that she sounds like a walking, talking anachronism.  But the requisite letters to Mr. Knightley enable her to be herself and grow into the person she's meant to be according to God's plan for her life.

I really enjoyed the Christian elements in this novel.  Sam grows and matures spiritually, intellectually, and emotionally.  She learns to trust not only in God but in others.  She also begins mentoring a teenage boy who enjoys running like Sam does, and they bond over the sport.  There are several secondary characters in this book I adore, and as the reader sees them through Sam's eyes we learn even more about her character and growth.  I highly recommend this book even if you aren't an Austen fan!

Because I feel badly about not sharing this book sooner, I bought an extra copy over the weekend to share with one of my lucky readers.  

Come back tomorrow for a review of Katherine Reay's latest book, The Austen Escape.

Until next time...

Happy reading!
Ricki Jill


  1. I have to admit I've never read Jane Austin, but I have wanted to!

  2. I love your reviews so much!
    this sounds like a must read..perfect for the cooler months coming in!

  3. Sounds perfect for me RJ. Glad you found this book, at Sundogs?

  4. Emma is my very favorite character! My husband likes Anne in Persuasion! Thanks for a chance to win a book. I know I would love it! Hugs!

  5. As always, love your reviews. I would love to win.
    Emma is a favorite of mine. ;-)

  6. I think Anne may be my favorite...from Persuasion. I've read Persuasion & Pride & prejudice more times than the others. I so want to read this one! I never pass up a Jane Austen themed book!

  7. Jane Austen is one of my favorites of course. This book sounds wonderful.

  8. You have me intrigued by the epistolary style, not sure I'd like that either, but it's worth a check out from your raves!

  9. Catherine from "Northanger Abbey".

  10. I am intrigued by your description of this book so I would love to read it. When someone says they couldn't put it down, well, it has to be read!

  11. Well, my cat is named in part after Lizzy Bennett, but I think my favorite is probably Elinor in Sense and Sensibility. Sounds like a wonderful book. (Reminds me a little of Daddy Long Legs!)

  12. Elizabeth Bennett is my favorite Jane Austen heroine.



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I'm Ricki Jill. Welcome! I'm honored that you're reading my blog. I enjoy sharing my creative lifestyle @ The Bookish Dilettante. For more information about my blog, please read the Start Here page. Thank-you for stopping by, and I hope you'll consider following me via email.

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